Just when you thought drug running couldn't get more extreme, U.S. border patrol officers find 33 cans of marijuana in the desert near the border that they believe were fired from a cannon in Mexico. Authorities caught wind of the new technique when they received reports of some strange canisters popping up near the Colorado River in southern Arizona recently. Agents arrived at the scene to find the cans which collectively held 85 pounds of marijuana. That's worth $42,500 on the street. By the looks of it, the smugglers had loaded the cans into a pneumatic-powered cannon (think: potato gun) and blasted them 500 yards over the border. Bummer none of their buddies came to pick it up before the police.
This all sounds crazy, but it really does fit neatly into the broader narrative of creative drug-running schemes. Smugglers have long come up with interesting ways to hide their payload, say, in various parts of the car, and just a month ago, a Jeep full of drugs got stuck on top of the border fence in California, while literally trying to ramp over it. The smugglers managed to empty the SUVs cargo before leaving the scene of the crime. This was only a few months after border patrol agents chased a single-seater go-cart "painted a desert beige, fitted with knobbly off-road tires, and towing a trailer packed with 217 pounds of marijuana" through the Arizona desert. The smugglers abandoned the $100,000 or so worth of weed and fled back to Mexico, but U.S. customs got to keep the hot rod.
The fun doesn't stop there. We haven't mentioned the drug-running airplanes, unmanned drones or mules who carry tends of thousands of dollars worth of drugs in the most unthinkable places of their bodies. Don't even get us started on the burgeoning trend of nacro-submarines, ramshackle vessels capable of carrying several tons worth of cocaine underwater for hundreds of miles.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.